Members of the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce gathered together on Thursday, Nov. 17, at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club near Dagsboro for the 45th Best of the Quiet Resorts Celebration Soirée.

Chamber Executive Director Lauren Weaver kicked off the event with recognition of the outgoing 2020 and 2021 Chamber presidents, Max Hutsell and Ashley Godwin, respectively. A warm welcome was given to the incoming 2022 president, Jamie Haymen.

The most prestigious award presented by the Chamber is given to a longtime Chamber member that exhibits outstanding leadership and devotion to the community. Selected by the Board of Directors each year, the Lighthouse Award is viewed as an honor and recognition of a lifetime achievement. Dale Bellinger, owner of Bellinger’s Jewelers, donates the award each year, and presented the 2020 award posthumously to the family of Ron Derr, who passed away Dec. 21, 2020.

The 2021 recipient of the Lighthouse Award is Cory Walsh of Taylor Bank, who also served as Chamber board president in 2019.

Additional award winners include the Coastal Point, taking home the Best in Business Award in the services category for “high quality customer service that is above and beyond industry standards.” Coastal Point Publisher Susan Lyons is a previous recipient of the Lighthouse Award, in 2012.

The three other categories and winners for the 2021 Best in Business award were Bethany Blues BBQ in the restaurant category, Salty Paws for the retail category, and Bay to Beach Builders for the real estate and construction category.

The New Member of the Year award was given to DiFebo’s Market, as a business that recently joined the Chamber and immediately became active through networking, programming, volunteerism or sponsorship.

Member of the Year was Jacki Inman-Burns of Bethany Beach Books, for her dedication beyond expectation and involvement in the Chamber throughout the year.

Katina Dawson from A Sweet Affair Events received the Inspiring Business Award for her active encouragement and perpetual innovation, as well as being a catalyst for the future of business.

The Community Spirit Award recognizes small, medium and large businesses that “demonstrate an exemplary commitment to the community above and beyond its business contributions throughout the year.” The 2021 winners were Bethel Mariner’s United Methodist Church for the small business category, the Cottage Café Restaurant & Pub in the medium business category, and Lord’s Landscaping in the large business category.

In addition to special member recognitions, the ceremony presented the 11 awards based on member nominations and the subsequent public vote. Nearly 2,400 people voted for the 2021 nominees.